Fluorescent blue waves have created a fairytale-like spectacle along the beaches of Southern California. This strange phenomenon has an even stranger explanation.
Some fortunate people were able to see something quite spectacular recently. In the United States, in Santa Cruz County, the population witnessed some incredible fluorescent waves.
An enchanting sight
This strange phenomenon is rare and does not occur every year. This year it was particularly intense, delighting Californians all along the coast.
This phenomenon is known as ‘red tide.’ The light that seems to be emitted by the ocean actually comes from phytoplankton. These are very small microscopic plants that have condensed on the surface of the water. During the day, the waves take on a reddish hue and at night the water becomes brighter.
‘I've never seen anything like it’
The phenomenon is quite visible because the ocean is more turbulent than usual, probably due to the heavy rains that have fallen in the region in the past months. This favours the proliferation of phytoplankton, providing a spectacular sight, especially when dolphins are also filmed in this environment.
Interviewed by CBS Los Angeles, Paige Taylor, a local resident, explained that it was really ‘spectacular’ and that she only saw the phenomenon ‘about once every five years.’
The Guardian interviewed Dale Huntington, a 37-year-old pastor who lives southeast of San Diego. He went surfing at night on these fluorescent waves. He said:
I've been surfing for 20 years now, and I've never seen anything like it.